Discover more from Bernard Goldberg's Commentary
Primary Season Deserves a Good Swalwelling
As a Coloradan who dropped his Republican affiliation back in 2016, I'm going to be faced with some new and intriguing voting options next year, specifically in regard to the presidential primary.
You see, the election rules in my state have recently changed. After years of employing a complicated caucus and delegation system that was traditionally held pretty late in the national process, Colorado has moved to a Super Tuesday primary. And now, as an unaffiliated voter, I can not only still participate in the primary, but also choose which party's primary I'm going to vote in.
I find this premise oddly fascinating because I had never before envisioned myself voting in a Democratic primary (or even thinking about it). After all, the party has been far-left crazy (and getting far-left crazier) for some time. Almost nothing from today's Democratic platform appeals to me, nor do the proposals of anyone currently running for the Democratic nomination.
I do find a couple of the candidates appealing on a personal level. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, for example, strikes me as a good, smart, authentic guy who — unlike many in his party — understands why a lot of Americans unexpectedly chose Trump over Hillary back in 2016. He also recognizes why Trump is so unpopular despite a booming economy, and the mayor has smartly presented himself as a leader with character.
But when it comes down to it, Buttigieg's policy ideas for the country aren't any better, saner, or more financially feasible than what the rest of his party is peddling. So it's going to take more than just being a "good guy" to win over disaffected conservatives like me.
So why would I possibly consider voting in the Democratic primary? The short answer is, Why not?
Believe me, I'd prefer to vote in a Republican primary (and still might) to support a serious challenger to President Trump — someone who's not hell-bent on outspending Obama, waging a ridiculous trade war, and constantly fueling the news cycle with careless, dishonest, and needlessly offensive rhetoric. But while Bill Weld has already tossed his hat in the ring, and Larry Hogan might do the same, I can't imagine that either will gain any kind of traction at all against someone who's as popular with Republican voters as our president is.
So if I see no upside or consequence on that front, by the time the primary rolls around, maybe I'll wade on over to the opposition party's waters... just for the day. And with all of their candidates advocating for the same bad policies (albeit with different levels of nuance), I might just have to base my vote entirely on what a lot of voters already seem to: entertainment value.
Based on the entertainment factor alone, the choice for me is crystal clear: Eric Swalwell. No, it's not just because I like saying the congressman's name, which I do (it reminds me of "Sally Sitwell" from Arrested Development and "Felicity Shagwell" from Austin Powers). It's because I find him — specifically the way he conducts himself as a politician — to be genuinely hilarious.
Of course, Congressman Swalwell (whose campaign motto is "Be Bold") isn't actually trying to be funny (at least I don't think he is). Nonetheless, his strict adherence to political correctness and the seriousness with which he takes himself is an absolute riot.
I began noticing these characteristics a while ago in Swalwell's frequent (and reliably sanctimonious) appearances on cable news programs, but it was this tweet from back in February that really put him on my radar:
In case you're confused, let me explain what happened here...
In a courageous act of self-sacrifice and righteous defiance, Swalwell denied the Trump organization the purchase price of a cup of coffee. He then took a selfie to document the martyrdom on Twitter, before presumably walking a half block to the next coffee shop (of which there are many in that area).
Eat your heart out, Rosa Parks.
Speaking of civil rights, Swalwell took another "bold" stance on Twitter earlier this week — this time on women's rights. He came up with this profound observation and declaration:
As the old saying goes, not all heroes wear capes. Unfortunately, Charles Cooke of National Review had to play the role of Lex Luthor and ruin the moment:
“Man” isn’t in the Constitution either.
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) May 1, 2019
Truth be told, Swalwell's ridiculously contrived feminist stances have provided some of the most amusing examples of identity pandering since the Mark Uterus debacle of 2014. And for that, he should be celebrated.
These are by no means the only times Swalwell has set himself up for brutal mockery on social media. It's a fairly regular occurrence.
Last year, after Swalwell advocated for the government confiscating guns from American gun-owners (his proposed Australia-like solution to school shootings), a number of people on Twitter stated that such a move would lead to another civil war. Swalwell, to the surprise of many, responded to one of those individuals, suggesting that the U.S. government would just "nuke" such an uprising. Problem solved:
Yes, a United States congressman actually argued that if his gun policy (proposed as a measure to save lives) led to chaos, the U.S. government would potentially nuke its own country and its citizens.
Call me crazy, but that seems... counterproductive. Regardless, it's comedy gold.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking: These days, tweeting insane stuff is sort of a prerequisite for becoming the leader of the free world. It's a point well taken, and perhaps I shouldn't underestimate Mr. Swalwell because of this.
But if I truly believed that the congressman had any prayer at all of winning his party's nomination and the presidency, I would never vote for him. And again, being that just about everyone in his party who's running for president is essentially supporting the same crazy things (well, maybe not that nuking of America part), I might as well vote for the one among them who makes me laugh — to help keep him in the race a little longer (if he's even still around by then).
Or maybe not. We'll see. I have some time to think about this.